Doing your homework, studying, and the exam

I think the major reason women are having trouble understanding the vetting issues and why they are effective to a large extent is because they are taking an all or nothing mentality when the world is more fluid than that.

In general, I’ve used the analogy before about what Jesus talks about on the cost of discipleship in Luke 14.

Luke 14:25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Essentially, vetting is counting the cost of finding a wife. Searching for a wife of certain criteria is prognostic. The prognostic pros and cons are weighed against the other opportunity cost which is remaining single.

  • Will this woman bring more value to my life than if I was single?
  • Can I do more for Christ with or without this woman by my side as a wife?

The other analogy I would use is doing your homework, studying, and taking an exam.

No one would say you shouldn’t do your homework before an exam. Most of the material that is given in homework is to eventually prepare you for the exam. Likewise, most people would not believe that doing homework is solely enough to prepare you for an exam. You should study and review the material in order to learn the information aside from homework to prepare for the examination. Both homework and studying help to prepare you for the rigors of the exam.

By this same analogy we can come to see three generally accurate conclusions:

  1. Homework is akin to statistical vetting. Statistical vetting provides a clear framework for which to evaluate the potential framework and questions that the exam will likely have.
  2. Studying is akin to vetting behavior and attitudes. Attitudes are critical for examining the heart of a person, and past and current behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. This is especially true of Christians: what they were like before and after their conversion. A changed heart shows in thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. Hearthie also posted on the absence of malice which is good.
  3. The Exam is akin to marriage. You don’t really know what you’re going to get, but at least you have prepared for it. You’ve done all you can do for it, and now you’re ready to accept whatever it has to offer. If you didn’t prepare for it then you’re risking your life on the whim of feelings.

Ultimately, we all know that is God who gives the exam. You do all you can to find a worthy wife, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Proverbs 19:14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.

Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

In the end, it’s really that simple. Christian men should be doing their homework and studying to prepare for exams, but ultimately we know that on some level you don’t know what you’re going to get when you take the exam. However, we do know that the homework is a really good prognosticator of what a stable marriage looks like, and studying for it will tend to select for good quality women.

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12 Responses to Doing your homework, studying, and the exam

  1. Pingback: Doing your homework, studying, and the exam | Manosphere.com

  2. Maea says:

    Christian men should be doing their homework and studying to prepare for exams, but ultimately we know that on some level you don’t know what you’re going to get when you take the exam. However, we do know that the homework is a really good prognosticator of what a stable marriage looks like, and studying for it will tend to select for good quality women.

    I believe that’s what many people were already saying, but they said it differently. I don’t think women claimed vetting for marriage wasn’t effective AT ALL.

  3. Looking Glass says:

    @Maea:

    No, they were definitely in the “it doesn’t work” category as to their responses. But that has far more to do with their spirit than the logic or wisdom of the situation, which is why it came out the ways it did. Women hate being judged more than cats hate water.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    As to the post, part of it is being in the proper Mindset.

    Marriage is a *choice*. And major choices should always be weighed in the Wisdom of the Lord. If that is the direction one should go, the Lord will open the path. Then it’s a matter of “doing the work.”. I’ll borrow from David’s command to Solomon, to drive the point home.

    “Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”” 1 Chronicles 28:10 (ESV). We are the Lord’s temple, Be Strong and Do It.

  5. hearthie says:

    Thanks for linkies! 🙂

  6. @ Maea

    I think, generally, women were quibbling over the effectiveness of vetting in general. The stats do back up a success of stable marriage at a rate of > 90-98%+ if a lot of different criteria are met in the same woman simultaneously.

    Apparently, most (?) of the women thought that percentage is way too high. However, I didn’t see any evidence from them to disprove the statistics. It was just stuff like “in marriage people change” and “you can’t figure out what [people] are like from just talking to them” along with other feel good arguments.

    Simply put, based on statistics and other vetting methods you can predict to a high degree of certainty that a woman is a good candidate for marriage. Now, of course she could be in the 1-2% that go crazy after being married or are able to deceive you before marriage, but that is not close even close to the majority of women.

    I believe that is an accurate summary of what happened.

  7. Psalm1Wife says:

    God chose Noah when he was not from a family of good repute. Success. God chose Abraham when he was not from a family of good repute. Success. God used Jacob over Esau although Esau was firstborn. Success. God chose Judah although he was unconventional due to being the youngest of Jacob’s children through Leah. Success. God chose Moses although he was not from a family of good repute. Success. Those are just in the first 5 books! God chose David although he was unconventional due to being the youngest of Jesse’s children. Success.

    However, God chose Saul whose family was of good repute. Fail. God chose Solomon whose family was of good repute. Fail.

    Raising the objection that someone who is virtually a perfect choice can be passed over in a rigid vetting process if you stick to standards of: wealthy, respectable family, grew up in conservative church, etc. or that you were just judging their intentions. I came to this conclusion by thinking that I understood what vetting was when I did not.

    According to my understanding the number of men from my above list who would have failed a vetting process that did good work for the Lord would be 6. The number of men who would have passed a vetting process and yet failed the Lord would be 2. Which made the effectiveness of vetting in my mind at 0%.

    After that you clearly and specifically pointed out that vetting is not such a process and instead you attempt to search the heart and use measures of purity, honesty, willingness to repent, etc. to determine and not just the woman’s circumstances or your personal judgment of her intentions, it was easy to understand why any man would and should do it.

    It doesn’t always have to be black and white: she agrees 100% or her feathers are simply ruffled. In my humble opinion, there was valid questioning and willingness to learn on the part of the women who objected.

  8. @ Psalm1wife

    Raising the objection that someone who is virtually a perfect choice can be passed over in a rigid vetting process if you stick to standards of: wealthy, respectable family, grew up in conservative church, etc. or that you were just judging their intentions. I came to this conclusion by thinking that I understood what vetting was when I did not.

    Well, most of these are not the indicators that you’re looking for at least from what I described in the previous posts.

    Virginity in itself is a good example. For women they have an 80-85% success of a stable marriage irregardless of their views on chastity. That is they could have been a technical virgin or they most godly chaste woman ever… and still they have a large percent of a stable marriage.

    However, we do know that those who are chaste are more likely going to be happier and satisfied by their marriage than those who did everything but sex prior to marriage. This is part of the attitude and behavior you’re looking for aside from virginity.

    After that you clearly and specifically pointed out that vetting is not such a process and instead you attempt to search the heart and use measures of purity, honesty, willingness to repent, etc. to determine and not just the woman’s circumstances or your personal judgment of her intentions, it was easy to understand why any man would and should do it.

    It doesn’t always have to be black and white: she agrees 100% or her feathers are simply ruffled. In my humble opinion, there was valid questioning and willingness to learn on the part of the women who objected.

    It’s not.

    Like I’ve said before I’d rather marry the chaste for 2-3+ years woman who made a mistake and had sex with one man rather than the technical virgin who has done everything but sex but is still rather promiscuous with her actions. One clearly understands repentance and obedience to God better than the other.

    For me virginity is a very strong yellow bordering on red flag. However, if I see behavior and attitude that indicates that they have fully repented I’d be willing to consider them for marriage.

    Every man has to weigh for themselves what is a yellow or red flag to them. It’s part of counting the cost and evaluating risk scenarios.

    You don’t have to stick to a super strict homework and studying outline. You are allowed to bend the outline based on what you see. However, it should be based on evaluating the potential positive or negative consequences of each action or scenario.

  9. hearthie says:

    Some of the freakout has to do with the ways that we communicate and what we read into some of the manosphere’s words… it sounds almost like the Cinderella Fallacy – that if you just get the right person, then everything after will be perfect, and that there are only two types of people – perfect and “nexts”. No one learns and gets better, no one has a moment of stupidity. Us older gals spend a lot of time and energy talking the younger ones down from this stuff, so it’s understandable that it’s heard sometimes when it’s not meant.

    Of COURSE you should vet. Intelligent vetting is an idea we should go to, far better than randomly (and solely) relying on transitory feelings. It’s not possible to assume commonality (and decency) of upbringing or ethics. The way the families are going, vetting is going to become progressively more important. (I am a little freaked out that I’m going to have to advise my kids to get DNA tests on their main squeezes… make sure they’re the sex they say they are).

  10. Pingback: If the Christian manosphere wants wives, they should be nicer to middle aged married women | The Practical Conservative

  11. Pingback: Lens of bias | Christianity and the manosphere

  12. Pingback: The most eligible Christian bachelor | Christianity and the manosphere

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